GRANDMASTER Oliver Barbosa defeated International Master Shyam Nikil in the 11th and final round to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the 10th Parsvnath International Grandmasters Chess Tournament at Ludlow Castle Sports Complex, Civil Lines in New Delhi, India on Monday (January 23).
Barbosa's victory over his Indian foe earned him 9.5 points, the winner's purse of two lakh rupees, the championship trophy and a live rating of 2610, giving the Philippines a pair of super GMs for the first time.
"Our chess players once again proved that the Filipinos are capable of competing against the best and the brightest on the world stage," said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chairman/president Prospero "Butch" Pichay, Jr.
Overnight co-leader GM John Paul Gomez settled for a draw opposite Ma Qun of China to finish in a tie for second place with 9.0 points along with IM Lalith Babu M R of India. Gomez placed second overall after the tiebreak.
GM Mark Paragua downed GM Evgeny Gleizerov of Russia to finish in a tie for fourth place with 8.5 points along with Ma. Paragua also had a superior tiebreak points.
"Nations like Russia, China and India, are touted as superpowers in chess. Kaya hindi biro ang 1-2-4 finish nina Oliver, John Paul at Mark," Pichay noted.
The Filipinos' campaign in India is part of the Philippine Team preparation for this year's 38th World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. They are supported by the NCFP, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.